May 14, 2011 6:17 PM by Andy Koen
It was a day of patriotism and respect Saturday in downtown Pueblo. Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, the nation's newest Medal of Honor recipient, joined two of his forbearer, Drew Dix and Pete Lemon, at a rededication ceremony for the Home of Heroes Memorial at the Pueblo Convention Center.
"Only because of men and women like yourselves, like the Drew Dix and Pete Lemons of the world, the people who have raised their hand and answered the call of their country am I able to stand here and be so proud of what I have done," Giunta told the crowd.
For the 26 year old Giunta, the months since being awarded the medal have been very surreal.
"This was so far out of the realm of any possibility I thought that could happen in my life and now it's happening whether I want to or not and I'm just trying to hold on and ride the wave."
Along with adding new names to the memorial wall, the crowd was invited to visit the new Veterans Memorial Bridge at the Riverwalk and join the war heroes at the recently opened Center for American Values.
While many in the crowd seemed eager to meet the men who've earned the country's highest military honor, the men themselves say they're encouraged by the patriotism and support of the people of our community.
"I've been here for a long time and Pueblo has shown me so much respect and honor but it's not for anything other than that's what they have in them to begin with," Dix said.
"Just the fact that there's this many people here right now, that speaks volumes about the city's support alone," Giunta added.
The Home of Heroes Memorial at the convention center was recently refurbished ahead of Saturday's event.